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SPENCER — Davie County was dominant in the first half as host North Rowan simply couldn’t stop Cade Carney and Davie’s time-consuming ground game.
All it took was one play – a blocked punt by Mike Robinson and a scoop and score by Kenyaun Coney – from North’s special teams to undo all of Davie’s momentum and spark a 28-13 win for the unbeaten Cavaliers (4-0). Snakebitten Davie fell to 1-3.
When the half ended, Davie had seven first downs to North’s 3 and had 113 rushing yards to North’s three. But the halftime score was 7-7 – thanks to the Robinson-Coney combination. Coney scooped the blocked punt and waltzed 30 yards to swing the game. While Davie was kicking itself for not holding a commanding lead, North was breathing a sigh of relief.
North continued to big play Davie in the second half as the Cavaliers pulled away in a game that lived up the hype. Carney and North quarterback Jareke Chambers took turns dazzling the large crowd. Carney ran for 190 yards. Davie bottled up Chambers’ rushing attempts, but he was sensational as a passer, going 11 of 16 for 235 yards and two touchdowns.
The War Eagles left points on the table in the first half. They churned out a 13-play, 75-yard drive, facing fourth-and-goal at the North 2.Coach Devore Holman was going to go for six, but Davie committed a penalty. Then Jonn Young’s 25-yard field goal was no good.
Davie used a 13-play drive to grab a 7-0 lead. Less than three minutesremained in the half when North was bailed out by Robinson’s punt block. Coney scored with ease and Trae Clark’s extra point tied the game. Three plays before the block, Carney had a 45-yard TD run negated by holding.
“Absolutely, I thought we let them off the hook,” Davie coach Devore Holman said. “We had a chance in the first half to really, really pour on the coals and we didn’t.”
“We take pride in special teams,” North coach Joe Nixon said. “We blocked one earlier in the year for a touchdown just like that. We work on it every day and it’s paying off.”
On the first play of the second half, Carney went around left end, reversed field and sped 65 yards to the end zone. Coney blocked the PAT to leave Davie’s lead at 13-7.
Davie wasn’t done with its self-inflicted wounds, and North was always opportunistic. Carney broke off a 40-yarder on a fourth-and-6 fake punt from Davie’s 37, but another holding brought it back.
“Man, we had a good opportunity right there, and it just didn’t happen,” Holman said.
“We were in punt return,” Nixon said. “Thank God the penalty was there.”
Two plays after Davie punted, Chambers hooked up with Cameron Sifford, who slipped behind the defense and zoomed 85 yards. Clark, who was perfect on PATs, provided a 14-13 North lead.
“It was good to see Cam step up and make a play when we were struggling a little bit,” Nixon said.
Once Sifford put North ahead, the Cavs never looked back. Chambers rolled out of the pocket, thought about running, but decided to throw to Coney, who turned on the jets and went 58 yards to the Davie 6. On fourth-and-goal from the 7, Coney rumbled through a big hole as Northpushed the lead to 21-13 late in the third.
“You never know what Jareke’s going to do,” Nixon said of the 58-yarder to Coney. “We’d like for him to run when he sees green grass, but he saw the defensive player coming up on him, so he just touched it over to Coney.”
It was still a one-possession game when North fumbled a punt deep in its territory. A bizarre play unfolded. A War Eagle had the fumble in his grasp, but he coughed it up. A North player grabbed it, but a hit knocked it loose again. Robinson wound up with it, and lo and behold, there was no one around him. He scampered 58 yards to the Davie 41, setting in motion an eight-play scoring drive that was the nail in Davie’s coffin.
On third-and-goal from the 9, Chambers found Sakil Harrison over the middle, and he plowed over a DB at the 2 to score. North was ahead 28-13 with only 4:57 left.
There’s no doubt this win was a testament to the electrifying Chambers.
“That’s awesome because it was tough sledding running the ball early,”Nixon said of his 235 passing yards.
“Jareke is amazing, man. We’ve got some kids who are doing great things when they get the ball, but Jareke is putting it in good spots, taking care of the ball and doing what it takes to win.
“Davie was tough up front. Early on, I think Davie was going to make us throw it to beat them. Their game plan was working early. Davie is good. We’re just fortunate to get out of here with a win.”
Carney has run for 591 yards in four games, but he didn’t get enough help.
“Cade is a special player,” Nixon said. “We knew he was going to get his. It’s the first time I’ve had the privilege to see him play in person, and he is every bit as good as everybody says he is.”

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